President's spokesman Ye Htut named information minister
July 30, 2014 00:00 By Myanmar Eleven
The Myanmar government is welcoming a change, as President Thein Sein's spokesman Ye Htut is nominated as the union information minister.
At the same time, Than Aung, now deputy health minister, has been promoted to lead the ministry.
The nominations were submitted to Union Parliament Speaker Thura Shwe Mann today.
The changes come one and a half years before Thein Sein’s term expires.
In June, the government also dismissed religious minister Hsan Hsint, sparking speculation that a grand-scale reshuffle was likely before the end of the government’s term.
Ye Htut and Than Aung will replace Information Minister Aung Kyi and Health Minister Pe Thet Khin, whose resignations were approved by the president yesterday.
According to the President’s Order No 17/2014, the two ministers tendered resignations and their requests were approved.
Aung Kyi was the labour minister before the formation of the Thein Sein administration. He became information minister on July 27, 2012.
Under the junta, Aung Kyi was the minister who dealt with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. In his capacity, he met with her nine times. Under the Thein Sein administration, he met her twice and once organised a joint press conference with her.
In his era, the Press Scrutiny Board was abolished. Still, reporters have been arrested and charged. Ye Htut’s promotion comes at a time when Myanmar has been heavily criticised for harsh actions against media professionals.
Meanwhile, retired health minister Pe Thet Khin became the health minister on March 30, 2011 when Thein Sein assumed office. He also served as the rector of the University of Medicine (1).